Facing your fears and inspiring others
There is an inspiring story behind the recent Mufti Day in aid of the Psoriasis Association of how one girl faced her fears and inspired everyone at Downe House to act.
On Friday 1 March 2019, the whole School participated in a purple-themed Mufti day which raised £379 for the Psoriasis Association. The event was driven by Upper Fifth girl, Noure who spoke in front of the whole School in assembly to tell her own story of how psoriasis has affected her and to ask for everyone’s support.
Noure said, “Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease for which the cause is unknown. It is an inflammation of the skin and it is incurable. I have had psoriasis since I was nine and it has been a very personal issue for me, and I have never opened up to anyone about it before. I didn’t tell anyone I had it and, even though it’s so visible, I always brushed it off when people asked me about it.
I always tried to focus on the positive aspects of my life, but my psoriasis would inflame my skin and urge me to pay attention to it as it itches so much. Sometimes I can’t even focus in exams because the red patch on my hand tries to make me pay attention to it instead! It has been a difficult mental battle - it’s itchy, ugly, sensitive and people with psoriasis are more likely to get depression because of it.
Now to the turning point in the story. After I came to Downe House, where all the staff and students are all so nice and supportive, I felt more comfortable with my body somehow and after two terms, I finally opened up and had the courage to talk about it and say, “I have psoriasis”. Before, just hearing the word or having the thought would make me feel down. Even though I am still constantly aware of my psoriasis, I have learnt that the only way to face it and stop it from stealing my attention is to simply ignore it… it’s just psoriasis!
The reason for Friday’s mufti day was to fundraise for the Psoriasis Association, which gives valuable advice to sufferers and offer a WhatsApp helpline for people to ask for advice. They also invest in research to find a cure for psoriasis.
I am so passionate about raising money for people who suffer with psoriasis because I have had psoriasis from a young age, and it has always been personal. I feel like it’s so important to raise awareness, get donations and help other sufferers which is the best way I could think of to face and conquer my own fears.”